A double risk: Covid-19 and severe weather

Wednesday, 11 November 2020 - 1:06pm

Homeless Link publishes a research briefing and guidance on planning and delivering SWEP this winter.

In October 2020, Homeless Link surveyed local authorities and homelessness organisations in England to understand more about their plans for winter provision this year.

SWEP, or Severe Weather Emergency Protocol, is provision of accommodation to people sleeping rough in severe weather conditions. There is no legal duty to provide shelter for people at this time but there is a humanitarian one.

In the past, many areas have offered SWEP and extended winter provision in communal and shared facilities. This year many of these types of accommodation are no longer suitable and may pose a risk to health due to the pandemic.

Homeless Link is encouraging organisations to work in partnership to identify diverse options to support individuals who are rough sleeping into Covid-safe accommodation; with the default being self-contained accommodation.

Organisations that would usually provide shared and communal shelter are encouraged to apply for the Winter Transformation Fund, administered by Homeless Link, to adapt provision in line with this advice.

The research briefing, and guidance, detail some of the key survey findings and highlight the ways local areas are planning to provide accommodation to people this winter, in line with Government guidance.

Visit www.homeless.org.uk/swep to access these resources.

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Jo Prestidge

Head of National Practice Development

Jo is Head of National Practice Development at Homeless Link.